The word imperturbe means care-free. The title of the poem, Me Imperturbe, means I am carefree. The poem starts off with Walt standing out in nature. As Walt stands out in nature he feels as if he is the master of everything and still has confidence even as the world is in turmoil. These things inspire him to find peace, the will to do things, and silence. When he is out in Nature, things such as “occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes” (line 4) are not as important as they are made out to be.
Walt wants to be on a permanent vacation, “Me toward the Mexican sea, or in the Mannahatta or the Tennessee”( line 6) are some of the places that he wants to be. If he wanted to become “A river man, or a man of the woods or any farm-life of these” (line 8) then he would do it. He could live in the “States or of the coast, or the lakes or Kanada” (line 9).
Walt is saying that wherever he lives, he always has a backup plan and is going to take things as they come.
In this poem, Walt wants to live prehistoric out in nature and feels as if this is the best way to do it. He wants to live his life the way he wants to live it and not follow society’s way of how someone is supposed to live. This makes sense coming from Whitman, because he is sort of rebellious in the way he does things and writes poetry. People are always worried about their job, or their fame, hardships in someone’s life is not as important as they are made out to be. Whitman is saying that we cannot simply follow the rules to enjoy life. Sometimes, one has to do things to make themselves happy. No matter how famous or rich someone is, if they do not enjoy what they are doing then there is not a driving force in living. Overall, Walt is saying that if it is not something one enjoys, then do not do it. Do what is going to bring one the most happiness.
Me imperturbe has no consistent rhyme scheme or meter, so this poem is written in free verse. This poem’s main theme is to live your life the way you want it to be lived, and how you are living is always changing. With the application of free verse, it follows the poems main theme. Whitman uses repetition in this poem as well. The word “Me” is used at the beginning of lines 1, 6, and 10; which indicates that he is doing what brings him happiness. Also, throughout this poem, Whitman uses Cadence.
While reading this poem, the reader feels as if Whitman is speaking directly to them, for example “O to be self-balanced for contingencies” (line 10). The letter “O” indicates that Whitman is speaking to the reader. Whitman also incorporates catalog. For example, “Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes” (line 4). It is also used to conclude the poem, “To confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs” (line 12). Whitman uses diction to get his point across. He applies a lot of descriptive words to describe his love of freedom as opposed to conformity. Words such as “passive, receptive” (line 3) imply that being free is peaceful and things such as ones job, financial situation, or problems are less important than being free.